Tallahassee, Florida- July 3, 2012
In an effort to expedite the recovery process for businesses damaged by Tropical Storm Debby, Governor Rick Scott today activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. The program will provide emergency, short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses in 36 eligible counties to assist in reestablishing business during the interim period before other aid and insurance claims are processed.
“Providing emergency financial assistance to businesses impacted by Tropical Storm Debby will aid them and their employees in getting back to work,” said Governor Scott. “So many of Florida’s small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities, and this program will help assist them in returning to business as usual as soon as possible.”
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides an expedient cash flow to businesses physically damaged by a disaster. The short-term loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including regular profits, payment of claims or longer-term loans. Governor Scott has allocated up to $10 million from the state’s General Revenue fund for the program, of which $5 million will be made available immediately. The additional $5 million will be used as necessary.
Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees in counties impacted by Tropical Storm Debby (see attached map) may apply for short-term loans for $1,000 to $25,000 from Thursday, July 5 to Wednesday, August 15, 2012. Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time period. To be eligible a business must have been established prior to the issue of Executive Order 12-140, signed by Governor Scott on June 25, 2012, and demonstrate physical damage as a result of Tropical Storm Debby.
Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in an effort to provide short-term emergency funding to businesses in need of immediate cash flow. Since then, the program has minimized the economic impacts of the Winter Storm of 1993, the Northwest Florida Floods of 1994, tornadoes in 2007, and Hurricanes Opal, Georges, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis and Wilma.
To complete an application, or for more information on the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. For questions regarding local administration of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network State Office at (850) 473-7800 or toll-free at (866) 737-7232.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. To GET A PLAN! visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. For the latest information on the 2012 Hurricane Season, follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/flsert and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.